Above are Joseph Pilates' original intentions and principles that make up the core of his method. These are central to the method and what we are ultimately striving for when practicing. Can you recognise any of these when you're practicing? (Not only Pilates but some of these can also apply to yoga and somatics as well).
Breathing: The practice starts with the breath and every move is initiated by the breath to help core muscle engagement. Breathing is vital for life, so by consciously using your diaphragm and other breath muscles you expand your capacity to bring in and exhale breath from your body.
Centering: Finding stability within the movement. More weight and more complex moves challenge the core stability. Without a stable foundation movements can compromise good function and lead to injury or less optimal movement patterns.
Precision: Moving as accurately as you can encourages good alignment, strength and stability. Being precise about how you move will also aid in concentration and control.
Concentration: Or as I would like to put it 'mindful movement'. Being aware of your movements and noticing how you move.
Control: Being able to control muscles throughout the whole movement is what creates benefits. Precision, control and concentration go together to help you activate and build mind-to-muscle connections.
Flow: Each muscle activates and deactivates in its own rhythm and timing, flowing with the other muscles to create an entire movement pattern. Movements feel graceful.
As an exercise, you might like to keep one or two of these in mind when doing movements throughout the day and see what you can discover about how you move. Are there any areas which you think may benefit from bringing more awareness to?